Published on : 30/09/2021 – 16:52
The 2021-2022 French Basketball Championship resumes on October 1. On the 3rd, BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque will play on the Lyon-Villeurbanne floor. This will be the opportunity for Vafessa Fofana to start a new adventure, after a frustrating experience with Cholet and a final of the African Nations Championship (Afrobasket 2021) narrowly lost with Côte d’Ivoire against Tunisia (78 -75).
« I am determined and above all vengeful. “A few days before the resumption of the 2021-2022 French Basketball Championship, Vafessa Fofana has only one idea in mind: to do much better with BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque, his new club, than with the previous one, Cholet. ” My last season there didn’t go well, both personally and collectively., estimated the 29-year-old winger. I couldn’t help the team like I’m able to ».
“The club is also revenge”
Evidenced by his playing time and his statistics overall down (4.8 points, 2.4 rebounds on average, per game) compared to 2019-2020. ” I want to find what animated me on the field and which makes me Vafessa Fofana, launches the one who can move to position 3 as well as 4. My base is defense and I’m getting down to 2000%. But there are other things I can do on a parquet floor. I’m a basketball player, not just a defense player, he warns. Certainly, this is my base. But I developed other aspects of the game ».
These qualities he hopes to share with BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque. ” The club is also vengeful, he emphasizes. He wants to have a good season and especially to find the beautiful image he had in the past ».
In fact, the BCM is a little behind after having been one of the major players in French basketball, especially between the mid-2000s and the mid-2010s. Vafessa Fofana also intends to bring him his experience of French basketball, because it is is his sixth French club (first and second division combined).
A summer to digest
To have a good season in the north of the country, Vafessa Fofana will however have to fully digest the rich summer he has just experienced. With the national team of Côte d’Ivoire, he was indeed narrowly inclined (78-75) against the Tunisia in the final of the African Nations Championship basketball (Afrobasket 2021), on September 5 in Kigali.
« I still haven’t digestedlaughs the one who was born in France but whose two parents are Ivorians. This match was really played out in details. And I don’t like it because it might sound like an apology, but does FIBA [la Fédération internationale de basket, Ndlr] Couldn’t have managed the rest times better? The Afrobasket final took place the day after our semi-final when our match had already been very intense and we got back late to our hotel – which was already far away… – because one of our players, Matt Costello, had taken an anti-doping test… There were lots of little situations like these that kept us from fully recovering. And, despite all that, we only lost this meeting by 3 points »…
Vafessa Fofana, who had been approached by Côte d’Ivoire as the country was preparing to host Afrobasket 2013, does not regret for a second having joined the Elephants. This allowed him to compete in the 2019 World Cup in China, as well as the 2021 Afrobasket in Rwanda. ” It is a lot of pride and luck. It’s a privilege, relish the interested. And then, it’s important for the family. The name Fofana is not just me, but a whole big family and all the Fofana from Ivory Coast. And then when you hear the national anthem… Pfff, the vibrations that you feel in your body, it’s incredible ».
The 2023 World Cup, the next goal with Côte d’Ivoire
Vafessa Fofana has in any case already well in mind his next goals with the Ivory Coast. ” We of course hope to go to the 2023 World Cup and do everything to scratch a direct place in the Olympic Games. We would like to avoid Olympic qualifying tournaments. TQOs are a real jungle. In addition, it would be the top because of the Games in Paris, what could be better? To do the 2024 Olympics in the city where I grew up would be wonderful ».
Ambitious and eager for new experiences, Vafessa Fofana would not say no to an experience in the Basketball Africa League (BAL), the new pan-African basketball league, from here ” three or four years “. In any case, he has already been approached in this regard. ” We know that it is the NBA that manages this and that there are a lot of talents in Africa. So if I can represent a Ivory Coast club at BAL, it would be very beneficial.“, He blurted out.
Vafessa Fofana is already thinking of the rest and even of the post-basketball era. He has a car rental company VdriveS, an Afakaya Music music label and he is the manager of musician Prinzy the animal. ” As a top-level athlete, we have access to a lot of people and big contacts […]. I’m thinking about my post-career now, because I don’t want to wait until I’m 36 to prepare for it », He concludes, resolutely turned towards the future.